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To ‘reduce burden’ on victims, Gujarat officials accept bribes in EMIs | India News

AHMEDABAD: Who says the corrupt are ruthless? In Gujarat, govt officials are nowadays being quite ‘considerate’ when it comes to illegal gratification, taking the money in easy monthly instalments, so that the citizens do not feel the burden of their demands.
The practice of taking bribe money in EMIs is gaining popularity, and Gujarat Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials say ten such cases have been reported this year alone.In March, Rs 21 lakh bribe was demanded from a person in a GST bogus billing scam, with the amount divided into 10 instalments of Rs 2 lakh each and one of Rs 1 lakh, lest a one-time payment becomes too burdensome. On April 4, a deputy sarpanch in Surat demanded a bribe of Rs 85,000 for getting a villager’s farm levelled. However, considering the villager’s financial condition, the accused suggested the EMI option — Rs 35,000 upfront, and the balance in three equal instalments. Recently, two cops fled with Rs 4 lakh received from a Sabarkantha resident, the amount being just the first instalment of Rs 10 lakh bribe they had demanded. In another case, a cybercrime police officer agreed to split the Rs 10 lakh bribe he had demanded, into four monthly instalments.
“A person unable to afford a house, car or anything valuable by making full payment upfront avails a loan on EMIs. Corrupt officials are applying the same practice to bribes now,” said a senior ACB officer. According to ACB director and DGP (law and order) Shamsher Singh, this could just be a tip of the iceberg as the agency “has been able to report only those cases wherein people have approached us after paying the initial instalments”.

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